Can a relationship with a cheater work out? Of course it can. But only if the two of you are willing.
The ability to survive and overcome infidelity requires complete honesty and authentic accountability. The nature of surviving infidelity is not a question of can it work out in so much as it is about whether or not the two of you want it to work out. If only one person in the relationship wants the relationship to work out chances are it won’t. But if two work together through the sweet and sour times anything is possible.
Infidelity is not about sex or emotions as much as it is about denying responsibility of previous decisions and a refusal to be accountable to the consequences of those decisions. Therefore, if a man claiming to hate his controlling girlfriend seeks infidelity as a means out of a relationship, he uses infidelity as an excuse because he feels unable to maturely exit the relationship by other more mature means. He further compounds his unwillingness to maturely deal with the real issue by casting blame on the woman in attempts to draw attention away from his own shortcomings. Infidelity is a mask that hides our unwillingness to rise above and be strong. That is why it is a temptation. Strong people do not resort to infidelity. Infidelity is a fatal flaw of inner weakness.
In the example provided, infidelity is not an indication of a controlling girlfriend but rather one man’s inability to maturely deal with the sours of his present relationship. Infidelity does not solve relationship problems, but rather serves to complicate and compound existing issues. Hence the man used in this example can lie to himself and claim that his act of infidelity created an opportunity for his final exit, which is true. However, to say his act of infidelity solved the problems in his relationship is a lie. Consequently, it is quite possible this man might attract another subsequent controlling girlfriend because he never dealt with the real issues of what it is about him that attracts controlling women. Furthermore, and until he does, this man will quite likely keep attracting controlling women and continue to use infidelity as an excuse to exit the relationship. Thus a cycle is created providing proof that, “Once a cheat always a cheat.”
However, if this same man was to go directly to the source of his real issues within, he might not feel the need to resort to such blame tactics like infidelity, and may resolve the issue in a more mature manner.
Some men and women cheat before they are able to recognize the real source of their issues. And only if they are willing can they rise to the challenge of dealing with their issues head on thereby refuting the statement, “Once a cheat always a cheat.”
Infidelity is an excuse one uses when one cannot effectively cope with the pitfalls of a relationship. It takes great courage and inner strength to leave an undesirable situation when the odds appear to be stacked against you. Dignity is the ability to rise above and deal with the situation head on without resorting to debasing games that merely serve to strip the integrity of both parties involved.
Infidelity is not a symptom to a cause. It is an infection to an existing wound. Both parties contribute certain factors that make up the essence of the wound. A relationship wound is created when two people come together with differing belief systems and struggle against each other in an attempt to disprove the other’s belief and prove his or her belief superior or right. Every relationship has its struggles. It is from the struggles that we emerge stronger as individuals and as a couple.
My present husband cheated on his first wife months before they married. He subsequently cheated on me a couple years into our marriage. My husband suffered from personal self esteem issues that a) he didn’t recognize existed, and b) subsequently refused to believe they existed once they had been identified. It took years of therapy for us to work through his issues. He worked on his issues and I supported him. Yet, ironically, my husband’s issues were also mine as I was no stranger to having had many men cheat on me in past. There was something about me that attracted my husband and that attracted all men who cheat. And so while his responsibility to himself and our relationship was to identify and work on his issues, my responsibility to myself and our relationship was to identify and work on my own issues. Thus we began our individual journey to healing and consequently healed as a couple as well. Our ability to survive and overcome infidelity was determined by our willingness to want to survive and overcome. Our success was determined by how badly we wanted to stop trying to change each other and instead focus on changing ourselves.
It takes great courage to face oneself in the mirror and be honest with one’s shortcomings. It takes great accountability to not blame others for our own unwillingness to change ourselves. And it takes great desire to want to work through the issues of self and the impact these issues have on our relationships. True success is determined by our dedication to want to work through the sour while savoring the sweet. When two work together through the sweet and sour times anything is possible.